King James 

24: And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and saith, Doth not your master pay tribute?

25: He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?

26: Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free.

27: Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money; that take, and give unto them for me and thee.

New American Standard
24: And when they had come to Capernaum, those who collected the two-drachma tax came to Peter, and said, "Does your teacher not pay the two-drachma tax?"

25: He said, "Yes." And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, "What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth collect customs or poll-tax, from their sons or from strangers?"

26: And upon his saying, "From strangers," Jesus said to him, "Consequently the sons are exempt.

27: "But, lest we give them offense, go to the sea, and throw in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a stater. Take that and give it to them for you and Me."

The Book 
24: On their arrival in Capernaum, the Temple tax collectors came to Peter and asked him, "Doesn't your master pay taxes?"

25: "Of course he does," Peter replied. Then he went into the house to talk to Jesus about it, but before he had a chance to speak, Jesus asked him, "What do you think, Peter? Do kings levy assessments against their own people, or against conquered foreigners?"

26: "Against the foreigners," Peter replied. "Well then," Jesus said, "the citizens are free!

27: "However, we don't want to offend them, so go down to the shore and throw in a line, and open the mouth of the first fish you catch. You will find a coin to cover the taxes for both of us; take it and pay them."

Good News for Modern Man 
24: When Jesus and his disciples came to Capernaum, the collectors of the Temple tax came to Peter and asked, "Does your teacher pay the Temple tax?"

25. "Of course," Peter answered. When Peter went into the house, Jesus spoke up first: "Simon, what is your opinion? Who pays duties or taxes to the kings of this world? The citizens of the country or the foreigners?"

26: "The foreigners," answered Peter. "Well then," replied Jesus, "that means that the citizens don't have to pay.

27: "But we don't want to offend these people. So go to the lake and drop in a line; pull up the first fish you hook, and in its mouth you will find a coin worth enough for my Temple tax and yours; take it and pay them our taxes."

New International Version 
24: After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax came to Peter and asked, "Doesn't your teacher pay the temple tax?"

25: "Yes, he does," he replied. When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. "What do you think, Simon?" he asked. "From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes - from their own sons or from others?"

26: "From others," Peter answered. "Then the sons are exempt," Jesus said to him.

27: But so that we may not offend them, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours."

The New Testament in the Language of the People 

by Charles B. Williams
When they reached Capernaum, the collectors of the temple tax came to Peter and asked, "Does your Teacher pay the temple tax?"

He answered, "Yes."

When Jesus reached home -- He got there ahead of Simon -- He asked him, "What do you think about it, Simon?  From whom do civil rulers collect duties or taxes, from their own citizens of from aliens?"

He answered, "From aliens."

Jesus said to him, "So their own citizens are exempt, but still, that we may not influence them to do anything wrong, go down to the sea and throw over a hook.  Pull in the first fish that bites, open its mouth and you will find in it a dollar.  Take it and pay the tax for both of us."

The charges against Jesus included telling others

not to pay taxes to the Emperor; see Luke 23:2.

Roman Citizens: Acts 16:37-38.

 Some History of the Gaspee

 The following is an interesting but little known fact of pre-revolutionary American history which is based upon Matthew 17. The British schooner, the Gaspee, plagued Rhode Island. The colonists burned it and the justification for doing so was based upon this Biblical admonition. The following is a short explanation of the destruction of the Gaspee:

The following are several excerpts from John Allen's "An Oration, Upon the Beauties of LIBERTY, of the essential RIGHTS of the AMERICANS" delivered "at the Second Baptist Church in Boston, Upon the last Annual THANKSGIVING."

 Some interesting cases regarding taxes imposed in the insular possessions:

DeLima v. Bidwell, 182 U.S. 1, 21 S.Ct. 743 (1901), and Downes v. Bidwell, 182 U.S. 244, 21 S.Ct. 770 (1901).

Please examine Form W-7, which is used to obtain a "taxpayer identification number." There are only 3 such forms, one in Spanish, another for adoption of children; both of these are irrelevant for a domestic American. The third and final form can only be used by one who is not a citizen.